An iconic New Zealand brand with global credentials could become the naming rights’ sponsor for the New Zealand Grand Prix – but only if Highlands Motorsport Park is confirmed as the venue of the 2015-17 events by MotorSport New Zealand.
Highlands’ owner Tony Quinn says his team is currently in discussions with representatives of the major brand, but obviously need to wait on MotorSport New Zealand’s decision, expected around 6 February, before taking the prospective commercial partnership further.
“They’re interested in sponsoring the New Zealand Grand Prix at Highlands because of what they’ve seen our team achieve in just ten months since the circuit, museum and members’ facilities were opened in April 2013, as well as the adventure tourism destination aspect of our location in Central Otago,” Quinn says.
The combination of Highlands’ impact on local tourism and the wider New Zealand motorsport sector, first-class facilities, testing racing circuit and successful hosting of high profile events, such as November’s Highlands 101 race featuring the Pirelli-backed Australian GT Championship, and its stunning location has the potential sponsor describing Highlands as “the complete package”.
Quinn adds: “The potential sponsor likes what we’ve done to date at Highlands and is keen to see the level to which we can take our events over the next 12 months.
“It’s fantastic to have such positive feedback from people involved with a global New Zealand brand and particularly encouraging that they believe a partnership with Highlands and the New Zealand Grand Prix would offer them considerable credibility for their first official motorsport sponsorship. The brand awareness they feel they can gain and opportunities for corporate hosting at a world-class facility also appeal.
“We are very excited by the prospect of hosting the New Zealand Grand Prix and await MotorSport New Zealand’s decision due out just before the 6 to 9 February running of the 2014 New Zealand Grand Prix at Manfeild. We’re also looking forward to seeing this year’s Toyota Racing Series competitors – who also contest the New Zealand Grand Prix – race for the first time at Highlands in just two weeks.”
The 25-26 January race meeting features the star-strewn BNT V8 SuperTourers, the Toyota Racing Series, the UDC V8 Utes and Autosure Central Muscle Cars. Fans can also enjoy plenty of on and off-track entertainment, a new spectator area called the Silver Fern Berm, an array of fantastic food and refreshment options and a top quality programme available on-site. For more information, please visit www.highlands.co.nz.